Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

O'Neill odds on for England job

Bookmakers Paddy Power last night named Martin O'Neill as the odds on favourite to secure the role of England manager.

Steve McClaren was sacked from his managerial role yesterday after England crashed out of the Euro 2008 competition on Wednesday.

And according to Paddy Power, ex-Northern Ireland international Martin O'Neill is 5-2 favourite to be named the next manager of the England side.

The Kilrea man is the current manager of Premiership team Aston Villa.

Prior to holding this position, he managed Celtic and guided the Scottish team to seven trophies in five seasons.

He left Celtic in June 2005 to support his wife Geraldine, who was battling cancer.

The former Northern Ireland midfield, who won 64 caps playing for his country, applied for the England manager's job last season but was rejected by the FA in favour of Steve McClaren.

He may still be smarting from the rejection but Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner has already indicated he will not stand in O'Neill's way.

Paddy Power also revealed the second favourite for the manager's job is ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, with odds of 3-1.

However, the 'special one' is thought to be holding out for a club rather than an international team to manage.

David Beckham and Sir Bobby Robson have been given the same odds of 250-1 to take over the reigns of the England team while rank outsider, with odds of 1000-1, is Steve Staunton who was sacked last month from his post as the Republic of Ireland's manager.

According to Ladbrookes bookmakers, Terry Venables - who was sacked as England's assistant manager alongside Steve McClaren yesterday - is 9-4 to secure the post with Paul Jewell as 6-4 favourite.

A spokesman for Ladbrokes said: "Venables is the one they want to be with at the moment and you can certainly see him in the role so recently occupied by Sir Bobby Robson."

Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle praised the manager, saying: "He got England through to the semi-finals of the European Championship where they were beaten only on penalties so he was very close to being in a massive final.

"He has done well with all the clubs he had been at so it would be exciting if he did get the job."

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